Autism Anglers exists because of our passion for fishing and a little boy with autism who has melted our hearts. In early 2017 my son was officially diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). I have personally spent hundreds of hours researching, reaching out and learning as much as I can about this misunderstood condition.
ASD is defined as a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors.
It is said that when you meet one person with autism, you have met one person with autism. Being the parent of an autistic child, my definition of autism is unconditional love, meltdowns over things that seem petty to most people. Autism is an extreme focus on one particular subject, it is a wonderful passion to know everything about that subject. Autism is taking extra time to get ready. Autism is the mean, non-understanding looks people give you in public because you "cannot control your child". My son is my biggest hero. He does not care how the world sees him, he does what he wants with no fear.
Autism Anglers mission is to bring awareness and acceptance to autism through the sport of fishing. Our goal is to educate a large percentage of the population (anglers) about autism and to use fishing as a calming therapy for those on the autism spectrum.
We have launched a program called “Ausome Anglers” where we outfit anglers on the autism spectrum with fishing gear supplied by donors or purchased with donations. We are looking to expand the program to include fishing trips with registered fishing guides. We have a growing number of professional and amateur anglers and TV personalities that will be sporting the Autism Anglers logo on their jerseys, boats and trucks. Future plans include fishing tournaments, both live and on social media and much more.
We survive on donations that can be used in the Ausome Anglers program, advertising, giveaways and raffles to help raise awareness and funds to keep our organization moving forward. Our staff is 100% volunteer. We are always looking for and accepting fishing gear donations that we can pass on to deserving anglers on the spectrum. We have corporate sponsorship opportunities available. We are a 501c3 non-profit organization, donations and contributions are tax deductible under IRC section 170.
Many Blessings - Don Morse, founder & president
Don has been fishing since the age of 2. In 1996 he took his love of fishing to the next level and learned to build custom fishing rods. Don has built more than 1600 rods to date and has successfully caught over 50 species of fish. In 2012 Don and Janine welcomed their son into the world. This special little man has welcomed them into the new world of autism parents. Combining Don's two passions, fishing and autism awareness, has brought Autism Anglers into existence.
Janine is a super hero for autism awareness. Not only is she a super mom to a very energetic boy on the autism spectrum but also PTA president and is amazing at organizing events and people. Janine is a huge part of everything that Autism Anglers does and is about, Don is working on getting her on the water more so she too will be a fishing addict,
Matt is a USAF veteran with a passion for fishing. When Matt is not running his two sons to football and lacrosse he spends his days building custom rods and running an online fishing retail store. Matt enjoys all types of fishing but his passion is chasing Florida largemouth. Matt can be found participating in local tournaments many weekends throughout the year. Matt is passionate about every project he undertakes and is a great addition to the Autism Anglers team.